The second major fashion week in Jakarta, Indonesia Fashion Week was held on the 4th week of February 2012. It was the first ever Indonesia Fashion Week and I was lucky enough to be a part of it!
Organized by the APPMI (Indonesian Fashion Designer Association) the events went beyond only showcasing the works of their members but also inviting newer designers and brands to also showcase their collections there.
Their concept is mixing fashion shows with trade shows, with over 400 exhibitors on the trade show part and 122 designers and brands showing their collection during the fashion shows. Yours truly was lucky enough to both be the exhibitor and show alongside the many great fashion designers.
The trade show itself was the most massive yet in Indonesia, as you can imagine over 400 brands showcasing under one roof, it could be a little bit messy. I had a feeling that my brand was misplaced and mixed up amongst the more traditional handcrafted garments, while it was probably best to put me on the main lobby alongside the other more similar brands out there.
But then again, it was their 1st attempt on doing this. And for an organization managing over 400 brands under one huge space, I believe can be quite an insanely hard job. Maybe we don't need 400 brands next year, maybe less but more quality is better than more brands and yet the quality is not up for the international standard.
Also a note to the organizers, the trade show turned out to be more of a massive bazaar instead of a trade show. This is perhaps because some of the brands are not ready for a real trade show, or this is perhaps because there weren't enough buyers who actually are looking to buy in wholesale.
But on this note, I'm still very optimistic that the trade show of IFW 2013 will be much better than before!
The fashion show part on the other hand was very well organized. I can't speak for the other designers, but for me, it was one of the most organized show I've ever done in my life! Everyone was very professional, the staffs were very helpful, even the sponsors were very understanding and kind enough to accommodate us.
I was picked to show alongside 4 other outstanding young designers, Imelda Kartini, Albert Yanuar, Jeffry Tan, and Nina Nikicio. First of all, I am so proud and happy that I was recognized and appreciated enough to be showing alongside these amazing and very successful designers!
We were sponsored and supported by Dulux, which as I have said before were also one of the best, most supportive sponsors ever! We were assigned concepts which really made the entire collection made sense as a whole. The creative freedom was also really appreciated.
On that note, critics were really on the model selection. As usual, designers were assigned to their models. And the models that I got was a mix of some of the most professional models and the most amateur newbie in the industry. One model actually showed up backstage in an undergarment that was really inappropriate for a model (think oversized brief with cartoon characters on it), given she was 16 year old, but it really put a lot of stress to us the designers who were already stressed enough. Next time probably involve some of the designers so the quality of the models can be exactly what the designer needs.
But the press that we got was massive, some of the magazines that didn't know me before suddenly took notice. The international media attention were also great! This famous website from Australia called Fashionising.com did a full coverage of my collection. Some other medias from Southeast Asia and Europe were also present and requested an interview with me after the show. A week later the garments were shipped to Paris for a photo shoot with Elle, and once it landed in Jakarta, Nylon and AMICA lined up to do a fashion spread with it. This is such an incredible honor because this is the first time my collection will appear in the pages of these magazines!
So thank you Indonesia Fashion Week team for an unbelievable experience! It was really challenging and fun! Also I get to meet new friends from the media and the designers that were involved in IFW. I want to thank InStyle magazine team who were a great help with dealing with the media and the show producers, and of course all of you my buyers, customers, media friends, readers and friends, who always support me. I really am nothing without you guys!
The photos of the collection I did for IFW 2012 are coming shortly on the next post!
Love you readers!!